While much is said in the social sector about leadership, little is mentioned about followership, which is equally important for us to move the needle on many issues. We certainly need great leaders to create a vision, build a team, and forge ahead to accomplish shared goals. However, we also need great followers to believe in the vision, share it with others, and turn the vision into reality. The best example of this concept comes from the well-known (and short) TED talk by Derek Sivers on “How to Build a Movement.” If you haven’t seen it, you should.

To that end, we want to share with you some “nuts” (as Sivers would affectionately call them) we are following and encourage you to follow them too:

  • Be Fearless Campaign by the Case FoundationIf you ever have a down day as a social entrepreneur/intrapreneur, this is the campaign for you. You will especially want to see the video. This soars past the inspirational and reaches the actionable. The foundation lays out 5 elements, all of which we love – 1) Make Big Bets; 2) Experiment Early and Often; 3) Make Failure Matter; 4) Reach Beyond Your Bubble; and 5) Let Urgency Conquer Fear. We encourage all our clients (and anyone else who will listen) to utilize these elements in their strategic planning processes. As many of you know, we started 2013 with a resolution to help the social sector get more comfortable with the concept of failure. This campaign showcases how you can make this happen in your organization.
  • Skoll Social Entrepreneurs ChallengeThe Challenge, which is hosted by Edward Norton’s platform CrowdRise, kicked off in September and will end on November 22nd. The first round has 57 participating organizations ranging from Mothers2Mothers to Fair Trade USA, with an overall goal of raising $1 million. The Challenge aims to help these organizations, which all have worthy and impactful causes, to build their donor bases. We encourage foundations to leverage this idea across the country through giving days or similar challenges. We also love the idea of crowdfunding, which is the topic for next week’s blog.
  • Social Impact Exchange Business Plan Competition: In its fourth year, this competition is unique among business plan competitions because it focuses on scaling innovative initiatives – whether they are programs, media campaigns, public policy, or collaborations. The deadline is December 13, 2013 for Round 1. Social Impact Architects has participated as a judge and coach over the past four years. It is an intense experience (see past winner presentations here), but well worth the time and effort. So, if you are ready to take your impactful idea to the next level, this competition may be perfect for you.

Not even the best entrepreneurs, social or otherwise, can do it alone. Social TrendSpotter was created to help us all follow great ideas and help them spread. Please send us what you are following and we’ll share it with others.

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